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What is Computer Engineering?

Computer engineers don’t just sit at desks staring at monitors all day; they create technologies that shape our modern world. Smarter software, faster Internet, or computers in the palm of your hand: computer engineers play the most significant role in all of them.

As a computer engineer, you’ll deal with the design, implementation, analysis and testing of hardware and software for computing systems. Unlike computer scientists who deal primarily with software, computer engineers must have a strong understanding of computers as physical devices and of the software that drives them. Because of this, computer engineers can be considered equal parts electrical engineer and computer scientist.

Just like the variety in modern computers, career paths in this field are numerous and expanding. Graduates of the University of Alberta’s Computer Engineering program may work in software development, telecommunications, hardware design, nanotechnology, circuit and microprocessor design, or a host of other computer-related careers. Many student also go on to graduate studies in more specific areas of computer engineering.

If you want to be a part of a constantly growing field that’s at the forefront of technology, we encourage you to explore the Computer Engineering program and its options offered by UAlberta’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
The Computer Engineering program at the University of Alberta has three different education path options:

  • Regular
  • Software Option
  • Nanoscale System Design Option

 

Traditional Option

Excerpt from ECE website.

The Computer Engineering program provides the fundamentals of hardware and software design through courses in both Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. It prepares students for many careers in hardware design, software engineering, and other computer-related areas.

The early years of the program, including a common first year required for all engineering students at the U of A, help students build an understanding and appreciation for the theoretical concepts at the heart of engineering. Because computer engineers must draw on knowledge of hardware and software, the latter years of the program offer a mix of electrical engineering and computer science technical electives. Both disciplines are taught through classroom and laboratory sessions, and offer crossover for students to combine their understanding of hardware and software into single projects.

Some students may also wish to participate in Industrial Cooperative Education (Co-op). This extends the degree program to five years and incorporates five paid, supervised work-experience terms.

 

Software Option

Excerpt from ECE website.

The Software Option in Computer Engineering offers students a more focuses approach to the study of software development. It carefully considers engineering design principles, discrete and continuous mathematics, logic, and the theory of software.

The early years of the program, including a common first year required for all engineering students at the U of A, help students build an understanding and appreciation for the theoretical concepts at the heart of engineering. Like the traditional Computer Engineering program, the Software Option incorporates electrical engineering and computer science courses. Students will focus more on programming in the later years of study, but will also think about user interaction, software testing and maintenance, and security.

Some students may also wish to participate in Industrial Cooperative Education (Co-op). This extends the degree program to five years and incorporates five paid, supervised work-experience terms.

 

Nanoscale System Design Option

Excerpt from ECE website.

The Nanoscale System Design Option in the Computer Engineering program focuses on the emerging field of nanotechnology. This option gives an introduction to the processes involved in the fabrication of nanoscale integrated circuits and to design tools necessary for the mass production of nanoscale systems.

The early years of the program, including a common first year required for all engineering students at the U of A, help build an understanding and appreciation for the theoretical concepts at the heart of engineering. In the latter years, students have the ability to take specific technical electives that deal with fault tolerance in nanoscale design and quantum phenomenon in systems design, among other areas of study.

Some students may also wish to participate in Industrial Cooperative Education (Co-op). This extends the degree program to five years and incorporates five paid, supervised work experience terms.

Posted on May 6th, 2013